Let me begin by saying I’ve loved a bunch of things Francis has said and done… he has wonderfully focused people on the needs of the marginalized and downtrodden.
In other ways—and perhaps through a failure to grasp how easily words can be misconstrued—he’s left me shaking my head with statements that seem to minimize the need for adherence to what is true and good. (It also appears his economic views owe virtually everything to leftist nonsense, and very little to revealed truth.)
It’s been well said that truth without grace, is not truth… and grace without truth, is not grace. I fear this pope leans toward the latter error.
So Pat Buchanan’s column is well worth considering:
“Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors; he doesn’t want ideologues,” said Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash.:
“The nuncio said the Holy Father wants bishops with pastoral sensitivity, shepherds who know the smell of the sheep.”
Bishop Cupich was conveying instructions the papal nuncio had delivered from Rome to guide U.S. bishops in choosing a new leader.
They chose Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who has a master’s degree in social work, to succeed Archbishop Timothy Dolan whom Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times describes thus:
“[A] garrulous evangelist comfortable in front of a camera, [who] led the bishops in their high-profile confrontation with the Obama administration over a provision in the health care mandate that requires most employers to have insurance that covers contraceptives for employees.”
That mandate also requires employers to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations.
Yet here is further confirmation His Holiness seeks to move the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West.
There is a small problem with neutrality. As Trotsky observed, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” For the church to absent itself from the culture war is to not to end that war, but to lose it…
The call of Christian leadership is, without question, an impossible one.
We are to spread a fully-orbed vision of what Christ initiated and accomplished… a family that cares for the poor… promotes civil tolerance while upholding the existence of truth and error… rebukes self-centeredness… warns of the worship of money… shows the necessity of love for God AND our neighbors.
The Bible’s gift to humanity is a view of life that promotes the fullness of human flourishing–here and hereafter; grace and truth.